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YEREVAN, July 2. /TASS/. Two hunger-striking demonstrators in the center of Armenia’s capital Yerevan have been taken to hospital. An ambulance van was called to the intersection of Bagramian Avenue and Isaakian Street to take to hospital two young men — Arutyun Arutyunian and Gaik Parikian.
Arutyunian has a stomach ache, and Parikian feels weakness. Both have decided to end the hunger-strike, one of the protest’s leaders, David Sanasarian has said.
Another ambulance team examined Arutyunian earlier in the day. Doctors offered to take him to hospital, but he refused. Also, he refused to have a glucose injection that would spell the end of the hunger strike. Doctors made an antispasmodic injection to ease strain.
Arutyunian and Parikian on Wednesday said they would hunger-strike in protest against electricity price hikes. Arutyunian said that a sit-in demonstration was not enough and for that reason why had decided to refuse to take food.
Armenia’s utility services regulator on June 17 made a decision to raise electricity prices by 16% starting from August 1. On the same day the center of Yerevan saw a protest action against such a move. On June 19 similar protest actions followed in Armenia’s other largest cities. On June 23 police used force against a rally in the capital. Eighteen people, including 11 police were hurt, and 237 demonstrators detained only to be released shortly afterwards. The demonstrators at once returned to Bagramian Avenue for a peace protest action which has continued for more than a week now. Some demonstrators responded to the authorities’ calls for observing public order, while a group of radically minded protesters still remains in Bagramian Avenue.